The Hiding Place

The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom

(Summary taken from the back book cover) “Out of the evil called the Holocaust arose a witness, a voice that even the Nazis could not silence, a voice that testified to the power of God to overcome every wickedness and sorrow. Corrie ten Boom is that witness and her powerful story recounts the courage of one Christian family of Dutch watchmakers who determined to save Jews and resistance workers from the Gestapo forces which had overrun the Netherlands. As the pressure against the Jews grew, the risks increased and the ten Booms accelerated their efforts. The family transformed their quiet home into an underground station in the network of the Dutch Resistnace, creating a safe room that would shelter and feed scores of fugitives. For this, all the ten Booms were arrested, from Corrie’s aging father to her young nephew, with Corrie and her sister Betsie ultimately deported to the Nazi death camp Ravensbruck. Through the slip of a pen, a clerical error, Corrie survived, though her family did not, and following the war, she began to tell her story of God’s faithfulness and his mercy even in the darkest and deepest pit. The same faith that compelled the ten Boom family to stand firm in the face of evil would continue to shape Corrie’s life as she bore witness to the great power of God’s love to forgive, to heal, and to restore.”

Miss ten Boom’s story is amazing. How have I not read this before? Her voice is so real and sincere, and it draws you in. I’ve learned about the Holocaust, and I knew about the horrible death camps. I’ve even reviewed another survivor’s story, but I had no idea that people other than Jews were sent to the death camps. Now that I think about it, it makes sense, but I’d never thought about it before. The courage and faith of the ten Boom family, and those they worked with, is just astounding. The things they went through, in order to help other people, were terrible, and yet they did not regret their decisions to help. Their faith in God stayed strong even in the worst of situations, and that is what is so impressive. To be grateful for fleas because they allowed them to speak more freely of God, without the guards’ presence, is simply astonishing, and is such a good example to me.

I spent most of this book in awe of these women and their family. Over and over I asked myself if I would have had the courage to put myself in danger to help others. Over and over I asked if I could have had such a good attitude about such a horrible situation. And over and over I realized that their faith outweighed my own. I truly hope that I would do the same if the situation arose. I am such a rule follower that I hope my common sense and sense of justice and faith would allow me to go against the rules to help others. Not only this, but we have so much today. With my small problems, compared to theirs, can I find the best of each situation? Can I look for the good? Can I refrain from only seeing the negative in people? And, can I teach these things to my children? It’s not usually the big things we are asked to do, it is the little things we do daily that matter.

This book is written so well. Miss ten Boom’s narrative is easy to follow and each sentence is filled with emotion. It is difficult to read because of the topic and all that comes with it, but I think everyone should read this book. It is full of life lessons and I think we should all know these lessons from the past so we prevent them from happening in our future. I thank Miss ten Boom for her example and know that I am a little better today because of her and her family and their story.

Rated: PG-13+ (Almost an R) The Holocaust is not easy to read about. The dire circumstances in the camps are difficult to read about. There are deaths, sicknesses, and people treated with cruelty. The women are to stand without their clothing. She talks of the gas chambers. There is no language.

Recommendation: High School Senior and up. This would be a fabulous book for a senior history class to read. I highly recommend this book and think everyone should read it!

Book Review of Holy Stable by Heidi Hanseen

Holy Stable by Heidi Hanseen

(Summary taken from the back book cover) “The heavenly gift of Christmas transforms hearts and homes. Create lasting memories as you experience with family and friends the shared affection at Jesus’ birth. Mary and Joseph’s devotion to God and sublime caring for each other will bring you to experience the story as never before. As Joseph searches for comforting words to offer Mary, he is attended by angel children who sing along to welcome Baby Jesus. Discover how sharing the gift of Jesus’ love blesses relationships, as you enjoy the magic of children’s narration, original music, and song.”

This is a beautiful book! The gold-tipped pages are beautiful and give you a sense that what is in the book is important. The illustrations are well done and add greatly to the story. The story of Mary and Joseph¬†is written in poem form and done very well. It is tender and not corny. The music on the CD is very soft and calming. The children’s voices are so sweet and convey the message of Christmas well. I love the idea of having the music, narration, and a downloadable script all wrapped up together with the book. This will make having the Christmas pageant in your home or church much easier. You can use her narration or just the music. There are many ways to make it fit perfectly with your needs. Thank you, Ms. Hanseen for such a beautiful book. I will definitely be reading this one to my children this Christmas season.

Rated: G (Clean!)

Recommendation: Great for everyone!!

Discloure: I did receive a free book in exchange for this review; however, this does not sway my opinion. All my reviews are honest.

America’s Prophet

America’s Prophet by Bruce Feiler
(Summary taken from the book jacket) “The pilgrims quoted his story. Franklin and Jefferson proposed he appear on the U.S. seal. Washington and Lincoln were called his incarnations. The Statue of Liberty and Superman were molded in his image. Martin Luther King, Jr., invoked him the night before he died. Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama cited him as inspiration. For four hundred years, one figure inspired more Americans than any other. His name is Moses. In this groundbreaking book, New York Times best-selling author Bruce Feiler travels through touchstones in American history and traces the biblical prophet’s influence from the Mayflower through today. He visits the island where the pilgrims spent their first Sabbath, climbs the bell tower where the Liberty Bell was inscribed with a quote from Moses, retraces the Underground Railroad where “Go Down, Moses” was the national anthem of slaves, and dons the robe Charlton Heston wore in The Ten Commandments. One part adventure story, one part literary detective story, one part exploration of faith in contemporary life, America’s Prophet takes readers through the landmarks of America’s narrative–from Gettysburg to Selma, the Silver Screen to the Oval Office–to understand how Moses has shaped the nation’s character.”
I really enjoyed this book. It reads easily, yet is very informative. He uses a lot of great vocabulary words, some that I had to look up. Feiler brings up things I had no idea happened in America’s past, and I loved it. I love American history, so this book was great for me. I also love the Moses story, so it fit in perfectly with my train of thought. I loved all the little-known details he puts in the book. He did a lot of research and it all comes together very smoothly. I didn’t realize how much our country was influenced by Moses and his story, and I found it interesting and intriguing. Anyway, I would definitely recommend this book. You don’t have to be a believer in Moses to enjoy it because it discusses America’s history, and whether you believe or not, our history was influenced by Moses.
Rating: PG
Recommendation: This would be great for any history class to reference. I think high school students and up would gain a greater understanding of our country’s heritage by reading this book. It is lighter than a text book but is still history. His style of writing is very engaging.